Production and distribution of child sexual abuse material by parental figures

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Abstract

Child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is widely available online. Existing research indicates that the parents and parental figures of victims are notably represented in offender populations. However, there is limited research in this area. Drawing on Australian media and legal databases, this study created a database of 82 cases of CSAM production and distribution perpetrated by parents and/or parental figures from 2009 to 2019. The study found that perpetrators are most often the male parental figures of the victims, and victims are predominately girls under nine years of age. The findings reveal distinct patterns and scenarios of parental CSAM offending that may inform prevention, early intervention and improved responses to victims. The study documented the significant impact of parental CSAM offending on victims and the need for specialist victim support.

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